Welcome to Ask Kate About Beer, in which The Takeout’s resident beer expert answers everything you’ve ever wanted to know about beer but were too drunk to ask. Have a question? Shoot it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I don’t have a lot of room in my cabinets, and I’d like to whittle down my beer glass collection. If I just want to keep one shape of glass, what should it be?
I recently went through a Marie Kondo-ing of my own glassware collection after I found myself perilously stacking them, Jenga-like, on my shelves for the millionth time.
I kept more than just one shape—some pint glasses, a couple Tekus, a handful of tulips, a stout glass, and some smaller taster glasses for parties—but I purged a lot of the more unwieldy ones. Hefeweizen glass, I love you, but you gotta go.
Enough about me, though. To answer your question in one word: tulip. I know people might first think pint glass, but I actually find the standard, shaker pint glass to be a pretty crappy vessel for drinking beer. Bars like it because it’s durable and stackable (this is a plus in small cabinets, too), but the shape doesn’t do a whole lot to maximize your beer’s aroma or flavor. I also think 16 or 20 ounces is actually too big for a lot of fancier beers like stouts or sours.
Here’s why tulips are my choice: Like a wine glass, they’re designed to funnel aromas and flavors toward your nose and tongue. The bulb narrows at the top to lift important aromas closer to your nose, and the slightly thinner width of the glass is a much less noticeable on my lips than a pint glass’ thicker rim. The serving size is also right. If you don’t fill the glass all the way—which you shouldn’t, to leave room for those aromas to concentrate—then you’re probably pouring about 10-15 ounces.
But Kate, you’re thinking, the tulip glass makes beer look so fancy! I’ll feel silly pouring my Coors Light into a tulip glass. That’s correct, my friend, which is why all beers of that ilk—your Bud, Miller, Coors, Tecates, etc. of the world—should be consumed directly from the can as the beer gods intended.